@jmiller: In most of the midwest, regular gasoline is 10% ethanol. In Minnesota, E10 is required by law. Most other states don't require it (although in some urban areas 3-6% ethanol is required in the winter months as an oxygenate to reduce smog). However, most states allow up to 10% ethanol, and since gasoline blenders get a renewable energy tax credit based on the amount of ethanol they use, most blenders go right up to the maximum. I could be wrong, but I think having a choice between ethanol-containing gasoline and non-ethanol-containing gasoline is the exception, rather than the rule, in the U.S.
I'd love to see some data on the amount of corn used for ethanol production compared to the amount shipped overseas. The other part of this that I don't know if people understand is the government actually pays part of the corn price. As well as a subsidy to rotate crops and plant beans every other year. That's right the government actually pays people not to grow corn. Not to mention the set aside acres program which actually pays farmers not to grow any crops. I'm thinking ethanol is not as big of a deal as the other government meddling.
I glad to hear things are coming back, William. The auto industry seems to be in very good recovery mode, but a lot of the auto industry is no longer in the Detroit area. I understand there are more auto-related jobs in Ohio than in Michigan.
THings are better than a few years back, and there are fewer bank-owned houses for sale now, BUT there are still a whole lot of industrial buildings for sale or lease, and quite a few stores as well. So whatever recovery is in progress we are not seeing a lot of it.
On the other side, gasoline prices in this corner of Michigan are quite uniform and 10 to 30 cents per gallon higher than any other area east of the MIssissippi river. But nobody has been able to prove that all of the prices tracking like links in a timing belt is not just a random ocurrence. That is quite amazing to me.
Looking back, Tekochip, there's a good chance it was the ethanol. Why else would carburetor parts wear out regularly? I can't think of another reason the carburetor parts would wear out regularly and quickly.
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
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